Pacific Science Center

Bringing science to life.

 

PacSci-Doku: “Skin Condition”

By Dennis Schatz – Senior Advisor

Do you Sudoku? It’s one of the hottest number games around! Well, here’s a twist we think you’ll love. We call it PacSci-Doku. Can you guess why? Here’s how it works. Instead of filling in the blanks with numbers, we use letters. Hidden in one of the columns or rows is the answer to a science question. You’ll find information about the answer on the answer tab below.

The question in this edition is:

What appears to be the goal of bowhead whales when they rub against underwater rocks?

To find the answer, complete this PacSci-Doku using the following nine letters:

O  I  E  e  A  X  T  F  L

PacSci-Doku: "Skin Condition"

The Puzzle

Puzzle Difficulty: Hard

The Answer
PacSci-Doku: "Skin Condition" Answer

The Answer

The question in this edition is:

What appears to be the goal of bowhead whales when they rub against underwater rocks?

The answer: Exfoliate

In 2014, scientist Sarah Fortune observed bowhead whales rubbing up against underwater boulders. This was dislodging the radio tags she placed on the whales. In addition, large pieces of skin were coming off as the whales rubbed against the rocks. Further studies showed the whales used the rocks to exfoliate their skin, just as humans use pumice stones to eliminate dead skin on our feet. Watch bowhead whales as they rub against rocks to rid themselves of dead and molting skin.

 

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